Kansas City might be one of the best teams entering 2021, but they’ll need to bring back these names if they want to remain legitimate top dogs in the AFC.
The Kansas City Chiefs did it again. Patrick Mahomes is back on top and all is right in the world once more. Sure, Tom Brady might have had the home-field advantage, but Andy Reid had the bye week.
Kansas City now hoists their second Super Bowl win of the Mahomes era. Still on his rookie contract, one more will be plenty to buy a lost season or two over the next 10 years when the former MVP is making a half-billion dollars. That might be the case since the salary cap will be forcing the Chiefs to face the hard reality.
Several names are easily replaceable. Sammy Watkins’ production will be met by Mecole Hardman and L’Jarius Sneed should transition well to the outside in place of Bashaud Breeland. Rashad Fenton and Juan Thornhill also should combine in dime packages enough to let Daniel Sorenson walk on a deal that isn’t team-friendly.
Some talent can’t be replaced overnight though. General manager Brett Veach will need to work the magic and find a way to keep them in the building for 2021. As the Buffalo Bills and Baltimore Ravens look to be on Kansas City’s tail in the AFC race, losing names isn’t ideal for a team that has a window to be the next dynasty over for a decade.
OL Kansas City Chiefs
It’s hard to justify paying a player who has been oft-injured for the last two seasons, but this is the one lone exception. Osemele signed a one-year deal with the Chiefs in 2020 after a shoulder injury cost him most of his 2019 campaign with the New York Jets.
New year, same injury problems. Osemele landed back on the injured reserve list tore tendons in both knees against the Raiders in Week 5. Prior to that, he was starting in place of Laurent Duvernay-Tardif as Andrew Wylie shifted over to the right side.
Why sign a veteran that has suffered back-to-back season-ending injures? Simple. He’s cheap.
Osemele proved early on in the season that he can be an effective pass blocker. At 31, he’ll likely be looking to play for a unit that’s ready to contend now instead of having to be the big name on a losing squad. Plus, is Kansas City guaranteed to get back Duvernay-Tardif is COVID-19 is still a linger problem?
Bargain deals can off in the long run and this is certainly a bargain deal.
WR Kansas City Chiefs
As mentioned, Watkins is as good as gone. That won’t be a big problem since the team has Hardman and has limited his role since being drafted in 2019. There’s always room for depth pieces though, hence where Robinson comes in.
Would Robinson want to remain with the Chiefs? This question was brought up last year before he agreed to a one-year “prove it” deal after winning Super Bowl IV. Could that be the case again following a three-touchdown season?
The 2021 NFL Draft is loaded at wide receiver, but Kansas City has more pressing issues on both sides of the line. Although he averaged a low 10.1 yards per catch, Robinson boosted his catch rate to career-best 76.3 percent.
Mahomes needs weapons just like an offensive line. If the price is right, these two should go Round 3 for another contract season.